One year after shooting, congresswoman gives emotional resignation
Jan 25, 2012, 17:06 GMT
Washington - US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords submitted her resignation from Congress on Wednesday, as her colleagues paid tribute to her remarkable recovery from an assassination attempt a year ago.
'I will recover and I will return,' she proclaimed on the floor of the House of Representatives, as fellow lawmakers from both parties cried and gave her a standing ovation.
Giffords had announced Sunday that she would step aside to focus on her recovery, but first held a meeting with the constituents who were present when she was shot in January 2010 and attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Obama had welcomed her to the chamber with a long hug, and colleagues cheered her name as she entered. Her husband Mark Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, joined First Lady Michelle Obama in her box to watch the speech along with other honoured guests.
Giffords was shot in the head during a meeting with constituents on January 8, 2010 in an attack that killed six bystanders.
She underwent months of treatment and therapy before being released from hospital in June, to be cared for by her husband in Houston.
Giffords made a brief appearance in Congress to cast a key vote last summer, but was otherwise not actively involved in legislation as she underwent therapy.
Alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is undergoing mental treatment after being initially found incompetent to stand trial on 49 federal charges stemming from the attack.